We read about them. We admire them. We wonder if we could persevere if we went through the same tribulations. In a time where the gospel has been well-established and many of us don’t have to suffer physical persecution, we don’t have to live in fear of our lives to serve Jesus like the apostles and early Christians did. They showed tremendous perseverance in spite of their trials. In fact, they gloried in them knowing the godly character it would produce. In the midst of such scary times, what was it that ultimately kept them going?
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
HOPE…hope is the number one driving force of what influences perseverance. Hope that things will get better. Hope in a solution. Hope that something greater is coming. Hope that what is endured matters for a greater purpose.
The early saints definitely had all these aspects of hope by the love of God that was poured out into their hearts. It didn’t matter what they suffered; no one could take away all the hope they had in what God had bestowed upon them by the Holy Spirit. And knowing this, everything they went through was well worth persevering because they would build a stronger character and a stronger character would give them the hope they needed to endure. Thus, giving them a reason to glory in tribulations that produce perseverance, character, and a hope that does not disappoint.
Maybe we don’t have the same magnitude of tribulations as the early church — and I’m sure many of us are not going to go out looking for such turmoil to glory in these tribulations. However, each individual has difficulties they must persevere through that provide the opportinity to build character and produce hope beyond the physicalities of this life. Anyone that has endured hardships and gained hope knows that these times have benefited them more than those that were easy. It’s the beauty of perseverance and the value that lies within the trials of life.
Want to add perseverance? Glory in your tribulations knowing that they produce hope that does not disappoint.
My Father, You make every suffering worth enduring. It is persevering through the tribulations in my life that have grown my character. Perseverance has taught me to hope more firmly in Your undying love. No matter what I suffer in this life, I know that I am protected by hope that does not dissappoint. It is for this reason that I choose perseverance as my only option when faced with hardships. Because every tribulation makes me stronger in perseverance, character, and hope, I glory in them as I long to see the final end of all my endurance. Amen.
Truth in love,
Also see A New Year Focus